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November 28, 2022

Associated Press Reporter Fired Over Bogus Story

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1919: American-born Lady Nancy Astor elected as the 1st female member of the British House of Commons.

The Associated Press (AP) reporter behind the outlet’s now-retracted story about “Russian missiles” has been fired.

The article had erroneously claimed that a “senior U.S. intelligence official” said “Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people.”

The outlet took the article down the following day, replacing it with an editor’s note that informed readers that “subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.” Before the retraction was issued, the bogus report was widely shared and cited by countless news outlets.

On Monday, AP fired James LaPorta, the investigative reporter responsible for the story, according to the Daily Beast.

The article, which was co-written by LaPorta and John Leicester (who still works at the AP), attributed the information to a single “senior U.S. intelligence official,” despite the outlet’s rule that it “routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing is anonymous.”

The AP allows for only one exception — when “material comes from an authoritative figure who provides information so detailed that there is no question of its accuracy.” But evidently, this incident did not fit the criteria, as the outlet fully retracted the report.

“The rigorous editorial standards and practices of The Associated Press are critical to AP’s mission as an independent news organization. To ensure our reporting is accurate, fair and fact-based, we abide by and enforce these standards, including around the use of anonymous sources,” an AP spokesperson told the Daily Beast.


Source: The Daily Beast

October 30, 2022

Russia Says US, Allies Could Become Targets

A senior Russian official warned that commercial satellites belonging to the U.S. and its allies could become legitimate targets if they get involved in the war in Ukraine.

Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy director of the Russian foreign ministry’s department for non-proliferation and arms control, told the United Nations on Wednesday that the U.S. and its allies were trying to use space “to ensure their superiority and supremacy.”

Last month, Vorontsov said that Russia is concerned “about the realization of policies aimed at the placement of weapons in outer space and the use of outer space for military purposes by the group of U.N. Member-States in order to ensure their superiority and supremacy.”

Russia launched the first manmade satellite — Sputnik 1 — into space in 1957. It also sent the first man into outer space in 1961. The country’s offensive space capability is robust, on par with the U.S. and China. Last year, Moscow sent an anti-satellite missile to blow up one of its own satellites.

Vorontsov said the “provocative” use of Western satellites to assist Ukraine’s war effort was “an extremely dangerous trend.”

“Quasi-civilian infrastructure may be a legitimate target for a retaliatory strike,” Vorontsov told the U.N. First Committee.

Western commercial satellites have captured Russia’s military developments, including damage to its air bases and mass graves in Russian-occupied areas. SpaceX co-founder Elon Musk has deployed his company’s Starlink satellites above Ukraine since the early days of Russia’s invasion to help provide internet service.

Vorontsov did not mention Musk’s Starlink satellite. The SpaceX CEO said earlier this month that Starlink satellites provide a “major battlefield advantage” to Ukraine.


Source: Reuters

October 17, 2022

Kremlin Issues Grim Warning: “Catastrophic for All Mankind”

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
2017: Islamic State headquarters Raqqa declared under full control of US-led alliance by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman Talal Sello after 4 months of fighting.

A top Russian official issued a blunt warning, saying that any further meddling in Ukraine by Western powers would ignite a third World War — one that “will be catastrophic for all mankind.”

Specifically, the Kremlin official said that if NATO were to approve Ukraine’s request to join, it “would mean a guaranteed escalation to a World War III.”

“Kyiv is well aware that such a step would mean a guaranteed escalation to a World War III,” said Alexander Venediktov, the deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council.

Ahead of Venediktov’s grim prediction, a senior NATO official said that if Russia were to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, it would almost certainly be met with a “physical response” from Ukraine’s allies. Similarly, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin affirmed that the U.S. was “committed to defending every inch of NATO’s territory.”

Venediktov posited that such “dangerous” comments were being made because “in the West, fewer and fewer people remember what war is.”

“For some reason, many believe that a nuclear war can be waged locally,” he said. “We must remember: A nuclear conflict will affect absolutely the whole world — and not only Russia and the collective West, but in general any country on this planet.”

He added the ominous warning: “Its consequences will be catastrophic for all mankind.”


Source: New York Post

October 11, 2022

Biden Slammed Over “Reckless” Remarks

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1986: Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev open talks at a summit in Reykjavik, Iceland.

President Joe Biden is facing severe criticism for raising “the prospect of Armageddon” amid Russian President Vladimir Putin’s repeated threats of nuclear war.

On Thursday, Biden said Putin is “not joking” in his threats to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Biden said.

Former President Donald Trump said the U.S. is “saying exactly the wrong thing” when we should be urging for peace negotiations between the two nations.

“We have to be very smart and very nimble. We have to know what to say, what to do. And we are saying exactly the wrong thing. We’ll end up in a World War III,” Trump said during a rally in Mesa, Arizona.

“We must demand immediate negotiation of a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine, or we will end up in World War III and there will never be a war like this,” he added. “We will never have had a war like this and that’s all because of stupid people that don’t have a clue. And it’s also because of the kind of weaponry that’s available today.”

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Biden’s warning of “Armageddon” was “reckless.”

“When you hear the president talking about ‘Armageddon’ as a random thought … at a fundraiser, that is a terrible risk for the American people,” said Pompeo, who served during the Trump administration. “He ought to be talking to us in a serious way.”

On Sunday, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said Biden was “accurately reflecting the fact that the stakes are very high right now.”


Source: The Hill

September 30, 2022

Embassy Urges Americans to Leave Russia Immediately

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued a security alert urging all U.S. citizens to leave Russia immediately.

“U.S. citizens should not travel to Russia and those residing or traveling in Russia should depart Russia immediately while limited commercial travel options remain,” the Embassy warned.

“On September 21, the Russian government began a mobilization of its citizens to the armed forces in support of its invasion of Ukraine,” the alert reads. “Russia may refuse to acknowledge dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship, deny their access to U.S. consular assistance, prevent their departure from Russia, and conscript dual nationals for military service.”

The U.S. Embassy urged U.S. citizens to “make independent arrangements as soon as possible,” noting that it has “severe limitations on its ability to assist U.S. citizens.”

“We remind U.S. citizens that the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not guaranteed in Russia,” the Embassy said, telling citizens, “Avoid all political or social protests and do not photograph security personnel at these events. Russian authorities have arrested U.S. citizens who have participated in demonstrations.”

On August 15, the State Department designated Russia as a level 4 travel advisory — “Do not travel and leave immediately.”

The alert comes after Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the U.S. is close to “becoming a party to the conflict” in Ukraine.

“More and more, the American side is getting into this conflict, getting closer to becoming a party to the conflict, which is extremely dangerous,” Peskov said on Wednesday.


Sources: U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Russia | The Sun | The Daily Wire

August 21, 2022

U.S. Worried About Growing Relationship Between China and Russia

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1959: Hawaii becomes the 50th U.S. state.

Chinese troops are heading to Russia for strategic military exercises for the first time since 2018, with representatives from both countries saying it will be “business as usual.”

Reuters reported that the Vostok (East) exercises will commence from August 30 until September 5. Approximately 300,000 Chinese military troops attended drills in the region in 2018.

Military specialist Mathieu Boulegue told the outlet that the event should be “interesting” with the troops and gear “already deployed, rotated, lost and killed in Ukraine since February.”

Officials from the China Defense Ministry released a statement saying that the drills “are in no way related to the current international and regional situation.”

When asked about the event, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said China “absolutely” has the right to participate.

“The broader point is that we have seen a burgeoning relationship, including in the security realm, between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Russia,” Price said.

“We’ve seen a burgeoning relationship between Russia and Iran, for example, and we have made public elements of that. That is of concern because of the vision that the PRC, countries like the PRC, countries like Russia, have for the international order. It is a vision that is starkly at odds to the liberal vision that we and our allies and partners have for the international system.”


Sources: Newsweek | U.S. Department of State

August 10, 2022

Rock Legend Calls Biden a “War Criminal”

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters kicked up controversy over comments he made about President Joe Biden.

During his This Is Not a Drill solo concert tour, Waters displays an image of Biden in a montage of “war criminals.”

The 78-year-old legendary rocker defended the move during an interview on CNN’s Smerconish.

Waters told host Michael Smerconish that Biden is “fueling the fire in the Ukraine,” calling it a “huge crime.”

The Pink Floyd co-founder said: “Why won’t the United States of America encourage [Volodymyr] Zelensky, [Ukraine’s] president, to negotiate, obviating the need for this horrific, horrendous war?”

Later in the interview, Waters said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine was the “action and reaction of Nato pushing right up to the Russian border.”

“Try and figure out what the United States would do if the Chinese were putting nuclear-armed missiles into Mexico or Canada,” he added.

Waters’ comments were polarizing, with some voicing support and one critic saying he’s “been living on The Dark Side of the Moon.”


Source: The Hill

March 16, 2022

Hillary Thanks Russia For ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mockingly expressed gratitude to Russia for imposing sanctions on her, thanking them for the “lifetime achievement award.”

Clinton was among the 13 high-profile US individuals that the Russian Foreign Ministry announced sanctions against, including President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

“I want to thank the Russian Academy for this Lifetime Achievement Award,” Clinton wrote on Twitter.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the 13 individuals were placed on a “stop-list,” saying the move was “an inevitable consequence of the extreme Russophobic course taken by the current US administration.”


Source:

Hillary Clinton thanks Russia for ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ of sanctions

March 16, 2022

Russia Imposes Sanctions on Biden

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1867: First publication of an article by Joseph Lister outlining the discovery of antiseptic surgery, in The Lancet.

Russia has imposed personal sanctions on several top U.S. figures, including President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it had imposed “personal sanctions against representatives of the U.S. leadership and persons associated with them.”

The sanctions came “in response to a series of unprecedented sanctions banning, among other things, entry into the United States for top officials of the Russian Federation.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki shrugged off the sanctions when asked about their impact at a media conference.

“I would first note that President Biden is a junior, so they may have sanctioned his dad, may he rest in peace,” Psaki said.

“The second piece I would say is that, it won’t surprise any of you, that none of us are planning tourist trips in Russia. None of us have bank accounts that we won’t be able to access. So we will forge ahead.”

March 15, 2022

UN: ‘Bone Chilling’ Nuclear Development

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned that Russia using nuclear weapons during its invasion of Ukraine is “within the realm of possibility.”

“The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility,” Guterres said. “It is time to stop the horror unleashed on the people of Ukraine and get on the path of diplomacy and peace.”

Guterres said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s earlier decision to put his nuclear forces on high alert was a “bone-chilling development.”

Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, said that Washington’s nuclear alert levels have not changed.

“The United States has not adjusted our nuclear posture, but it is something that we monitor day by day, hour by hour because it is a paramount priority to the president,” he said.

In addition to calling for nuclear facilities in the country to be safeguarded, Guterres said the U.N. is allocating $40 million from its Central Emergency Response fund to assist Ukrainians.

“This funding will help get critical supplies of food, water, medicines and other lifesaving aid into the country as well as provide cash assistance,” Guterres said.


Source:

Nuclear war ‘within the realm of possibility,’ UN secretary general warns

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